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Water Quality and Froggies: New articles on Nature Notes

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Water Quality and Froggies: New articles on Nature Notes

Postby gdurkee » Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:53 pm

Campers:

I just posted several new articles on Sierra Nature Notes:
http://www.yosemite.org/naturenotes

Dr. Robert Derlet reports his results from water sampling in Yosemite this last summer with a map included showing results and locations of samples.

Peter Stekel has two articles on attempts to recover endangered Mountain Yellow-legged frog habitat and the effects of recent outbreaks of Chytrid fungus on populations.

AND, as if that weren't more than enough, I've finally posted SnowNymph's photos of a Weasel taking a pika (or, as a biologist who saw the photo thought, a vole).

AND a great series of photos of a bear demonstrating his high-wire skills. No net.
Check: http://www.yosemite.org/naturenotes/Nat ... tebook.htm

Coming up: an article by Scot Stine on recent climate (1650 to present) in the Sierra. Including a discussion on the Little Ice Age -- that's all those loose & really unstable boulders we're thrashing over above 12,000 feet.

Which reminds me, a couple of years ago I was on a SAR of a guy descending a moraine when a huge boulder rolled trapping his foot. His buddies gave a mighty heave and loosened the boulder enough so he could get his foot out, but leaving his boot, which is still there under the boulder... . He got away with minor injuries but could be there still if he was hiking alone... .

Hope to have another article up soon on the existing Sierra glaciers themselves. I'll leave a note here when I do.

Enjoy.

George



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Postby Skibum » Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:56 am

Thanks George!

Heading to Wolverton for winter SAR/avy trng this a.m. with Tulare Co. SO.
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Postby JM21760 » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:53 pm

Excellent reading! Thanks!
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Postby BSquared » Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:01 pm

Thanks as always for the excellent post, George. Where did that series of pictures of the bear attacking the bird-feeder come from, by the way? Somebody else sent it to me via e-mail, and they got it from someone else... nobody had any idea of the original source, location of the pictures, etc.

-B2
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Froggies

Postby gdurkee » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:44 am

Thanks! I really have fun doing the website. Although a fair number of researchers live in moderate fear of me stalking them and squeezing them for articles, most enjoy getting their work out to the public.

I got those bear photos the same way, so don't know where they came from. Vegetation looks eastern deciduous forest??? If anyone knows, I'd like to give credit to the photographer.

Hoping to have tww more articles up this week.

George
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Postby madeintahoe » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:40 am

Thank you George for posting those links to read! Anything about the MYL frog I love to read about...I love those frogs :) I see the Sixty Lakes Basin marked for recovery...when I was there in 1999 it was all closed for fishing....I sure hope in 6 years some recovery for the froggies has come back for them :D
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Postby AldeFarte » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:51 pm

Thanks for the excellant links George. Fabulous stuff. I especially liked the hilarious bear. Who would have thunk it? I have seen them do some interesting stuff, but never that. Mostly distructive ,but that's what bears do. It's 12 deg. outside and I am sitting here warmed by a soapstone woodstove stoked by birch I cut every spring in one of my annual rituals of the seasons. After a meal of a Johnsonville braut, cauliflower and brocclli blanched from the garden and a pickled egg from one of my leghorns {That the freaking weasel didn't get} I have finished my 1/2 beer and have poured a glass of good burgudy and I can ruminate and explore on this computer thing. I am a beast, I know , but beer and burgundy go with anything on my plate. Regarding the ylf. Does it ever strike anyone as unusual ,or weird that wherever they waste a good population of fish ,it only takes a year or two or three at the most to have the lovely little critters in abundance? I contend that they are like the cougar in that they have never left and they were always around in significant abundance to recolonize ,especially when their environment has been so dastardly interupted by mankind manipulating new areas for them to expoit as a species at the expense of another species? Hidden lake was gillnetted when it was a pristine clear lake which I drank out of ,before we had handy filters. I never got Joe {Giardia} Frogs were all over that drainage. Now it is a stagnant pool I would hesitate to use my filter in for fear of plugging it up with the primordial goo. Just a couple thoughts. Thanks again for the links. jls
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Nature Notes

Postby gdurkee » Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:42 pm

Burgundy! yes. Not sure about the beer combo, though, but the nights must be pretty long still... . Just looked up Eklutna. Looks kind of out of the way (I was in Talkeetna once, not clear from the map how far away that is).

I just want to reemphasize that when we (which is to say NPS or USFS of which I'm one of...) "waste a good population of fish" that "they" or we are A) "wasting" a total of maybe 30 - (proposed) 50 lakes in the ENTIRE Sierra and B) not a one of these lakes has fish of any size. They're alpine lakes with a large spawning area and not enough food. I've never seen a fish over 10" come out of one of them.

Plus the non-native thing which I won't hammer on again. You're either into it or not.

And the froggies can only come back if there's a population within, maybe, a mile or two and a wet way to get there. The research folks have actually put radio transmitters on them and track how far they go in a season. Also, they need water to make the journey. One contributing factor in the decline has been the increasing number of dry years in the Sierra. Also, actually, the froggies are always traveling within their abilities -- but when the fish are gone from a lake, you start seeing the frogs because they're not being eaten when they get there. If the frogs are gone from an entire basin, they don't come back. Period. That's what's happening now.

Not familiar with "Hidden Lake" though, unless it's in cattle country, it's probably still safe to drink. I'd think you'd have to have a fairly major change in hydrology to go from "pristine clear" to "stagnant pool." Hard to imagine what happened... .

OK. Glad you liked the stuff. Probably more than you or anyone wants to know about frogs, but I really think they're an indicator species (i.e. "canary in the mine shaft")about the overall health of the Sierra -- plus being pretty fun. Stay warm and keep the lights on.

Take care.

George
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Postby AldeFarte » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:17 pm

Thanks George.We all have our sore spots and the frog is one for me. I also will admit that the fish kill is a small part of of a big system. I just have a fear that it is getting the camels nose into the tent. Government has a bad habit of doing just that. Hidden lake is at the south end of the SNP. I am sure it was cattle country once. On every map it is in the wrong spot. I read years ago that it was to save the golden trout but I talked to a park guy and he said it was also gonna benefit the ylf. I am sure it did. Either reason has never sat well with me.We all know char don't breed with trout. And that was some ugly water years after the deed was done. Anyway , I have never forgot that, or the claim that they were gonna put goldens in the lake. Hey, I like frogs. Believe it or not, some years I get frogs around here. I am maybe 1/2 mile above standing water in the summer. In mixed birch, cottonwood, willow, spruce forest. They have to be some amazing, tough ,resilient critters. jls
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Re: Nature Notes

Postby caddis » Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:59 am

gdurkee wrote:Not familiar with "Hidden Lake" though, unless it's in cattle country, it's probably still safe to drink.


http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=36.31306&lon=-118.60472
It's the unnamed lake to the east

gdurkee wrote:I'd think you'd have to have a fairly major change in hydrology to go from "pristine clear" to "stagnant pool." Hard to imagine what happened... .

if I recall correctly, the water was clear but it went from "blue" to "brown" in it's look.
Image
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Hidden Lake

Postby gdurkee » Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:49 pm

Oh, THAT Hidden Lake. How embarrassing. Right in my own backyard (sort of). I've actually skied by it, but never hiked to it. I've also clopped nearby on a horse during hunting season, but that's no way to see anything... .

As a side note, the fish trapped there (and the entire drainage of the Little Kern) were trapped to restore a pure strain of the Golden Trout (replace the existing hybridized strain and provide several locations of pure...) and had nothing to do with frogs. Only that lake might have become YLF habitat but only if there was a waterfall to keep the fish from coming back. They did gill netting, electroshock and, I think, poison. It was unsuccessful the first time (back in the early 80s??). It may have been repeated with more success about 10 years ago or less.

Going into Too Much Information Mode (which is my default, 'cause I've got this mountain of data sitting here.... and this is, after all, The Campfire) since 1990, there has only been one Mountain Yellow-legged frog sighting in the surrounding 30 square miles. The rest are in the 80s and a few up to 1990. (These are ones actually reported to the NPS -- doesn't for sure mean they're gone, but no rangers or biologists have seen any since then).

I've got no explanation for the color of the water. Weird. Should be pristine as you first saw it. Maybe it had some sort of algal bloom late season or something. Very rarely a trespass cow will get in there.

A good place to put a plug in for people here to send in wildlife observations to the NPS (Yoesmite or Sequoia Kings). The USFS doesn't have a very good database in place. However, if you see a Mountain or Foothill Yellow-legged anywhere, send me an email and I'll forward the obs. to the agency that needs it (or Roland Knapp of the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab).

Thanks for the map too!

George
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Postby Skibum » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:54 pm

Great stuff George!

Aldefarte, Burgandy + Beer = :puke:

:D
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